Also known as AV receivers, receivers are part of the electrical components of a home theater system. They have various purposes and functions such as receiving video and audio signals from different sources, processing and decoding the signals, routing the videos and audios they decode to your display component such as projectors, TV, monitors , amplifying and improving audio and video quality and so on.
In essence, with their wide range of functions, receivers allow you to enjoy an incredible cinematic experience by cleaning audio and video signals and sending them to your TVs or display system while improving their overall quality.
It is basically the center of your home theater system.
However, as crucial as receivers are, are they really necessary for your surround sound system?
The answer to this question is based on different factors, and we will consider them in this article.
We will also attempt to answer other questions you might have about receivers and sound systems.
Do You Need A Receiver For Your Surround Sound System
As we said earlier, the answer to this question depends on various factors.
What kind of audio/video quality you want
While the new AV receivers available in the market today can decode both audio and video signals and improve them, the old ones can only work on and decode audio signals.
Additionally, these modern models also perform many functions and can take your sound and video quality from mid to mind-blowing.
Therefore, if you are big on experiencing superb audio and video quality from your media content, you should consider getting a modern multifunctional AV receiver for your surround sound system or home theater.
The type of speakers you have
The type of speakers your surround system have can also help you determine whether or not you should get an AV receiver.
If your speakers are the traditional type, that is, they fall within the range of 5.1 or 7.1 surround system or something similar, or if they are passive sound bars, then you might want to get an AV receiver.
Since most AV receivers can also function as active sound bars and vice versa, if your sound bar is a passive one and does not have wireless or satellite speakers, you can get an AV receiver to improve your entertainment experience.
Additionally, old surround systems can’t process or decode some of the modern sound formats now used. If your speaker or surround system is an old one, it will help to get a digital or multifunctional receiver to assist it in decoding different sound formats.
What you want or expect from your surround sound system
This will also help you determine whether you need an AV receiver or not.
As we discussed earlier, modern and digital AV receivers perform many functions that you would not readily find in an average home theater system that lacks AV receivers.
Other premium functions that AV receivers perform are as follows:
Connect and switch between different video and audio sources. This means you don’t need to connect and disconnect cables anytime you want to change from other video sources like cable TV to DVD. AV receivers allow you to do this by simply toggling a button.
Radio tuning, which allows you to connect to radio channels and listen to them via your home theater.
Decode both complex, digital and analog surround sound formats such as THX, Dolby DTS, etc. This also makes it incredibly versatile as you can use it for both media content and gameplays.
Therefore, if all these features appeal to you, you might want to consider getting an AV receiver for your home theater.
Moving on to other questions you might have.
What Does A Receiver Do for a Surround Sound System
A receiver performs various functions for a surround sound system.
Here’s a list of what having a receiver can do for your surround sound system.
● Process both audio signals, including signals from streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and so on.
● Decode those signals and convert them to a format that your surround system can play.
● Ensures that the audio signal gets to the right speakers. A home theater generally has 5 speakers. Receivers ensure that the audio getting to each speaker is clean, clear, and crisp.
● Greatly improve sound quality and allows you to enjoy a cinema-worthy experience.
● Amplify the sound from your surround system.
● Radio tunes and allows you to listen to radio channels.
Can You Do Surround System Without Receiver
As long as your sound system isn’t the old or traditional one, you should be able to do a surround system even without a receiver.
However, to do this, your sound system must be digital and multifunctional, and having an active soundbar is essential.
This, however, still can’t be compared to the fantastic and crisp audio you would get if you used a receiver. Receivers perform so many functions in your home theater, and without it, you will not get to fully experience an immersive and cinematic experience with your audio.
Is SoundBar An Audio receiver
Depending on the type, yes, soundbars can also act as an audio receiver.
However, only active soundbars can act as audio receivers. This is because they come with an amplifier, an inbuilt surround sound processing system, and a satellite connection.
Passive soundbars do not come with any of this and, as such, cannot act as an audio receiver.
However, there’s also so much that an active soundbar can do; while it can perform some of the essential functions of a receiver, there are other functions it can’t perform.
Additionally, when choosing to go for a soundbar as an audio receiver, you must ensure that it is compatible with all other devices in your home theater.
What Is The Difference Between An Amplifier And A Receiver
Just as the name implies, an audio amplifier only serves to amplify or increase the audio volume in such a way that the speaker will be able to play it.
On the other hand, Receivers serve as amplifiers and they also come with additional functionalities. For instance, receivers can decode audio and video signals and transmit them to speakers and display components. Additionally, receivers have inbuilt radio, can switch between different audio and video source, comes with a tuner, pre amp, and so on.
Apart from amplifiers, receivers perform other functions and are the home theater’s center. In essence, we can say that receivers are amplifiers, but amplifiers aren’t receivers.